Scrolling through my Facebook feed, I landed on a friend’s posting of a long, drawn-out conspiracy theory that, quite frankly, demonized people who voted a certain way. Anger visited me. Putting my fingertips to the keyboard, I started typing a rebuttal. At that moment, these four words hit me: STAND ABOVE THE FRAY.
Social media is used to weaponize folks. Visceral tongue-lashings of others go on day after day. I admit that I have been guilty of it. I’ve posted an emotional response to things and then had to delete my post because I never want to hurt anyone or spread a message that doesn’t represent who I am, or more importantly, who Jesus is. I’ve been blocked by people, unfriended, and misunderstood. None of which gets to the heart of any issue that we’re facing.
The United States has a lot of problems right now -the pandemic, voting rights issues, treatment of non-white people, conspiracy theories that turn into triggers. The list goes on. But these things are not what I’m talking about it. The problem I’m witnessing is the hate and disdain for others because they simply don’t vote the way one expects them to or in the same way. Or, they don’t want to jump down that rabbit-hole and join others in their quest to prove they’re right.
Growing up, my parents were on opposite political spectrums. One was more conservative, the other more liberal. One a Republican, the other, a Democrat. They had friends and family members between this political spectrum. Not one time did I ever hear a nasty word about someone because of the way they voted. It was simply just that they voted based on their concerns and life-experience. That’s it. Because of freedom. Because of the right we all have to choose how we vote.
Our children are growing up in a society that devalues a person’s right to choose a political leaning. And I refuse to be someone who doesn’t raise her children to assume the best about people – regardless of how they vote.
So, when it comes to politics, I’m choosing to stand above the fray. This is a new concept for me as I’ve always enjoyed a good back and forth. But, anymore, I find that decent conversations are hard to have with others when falsehoods and scorn are being splattered across the scene.
I choose to stand above the fray of:
- Assuming that if people are passionate about one issue, they don’t care about others.
- Demonizing and calling one side evil or assuming the other is more righteous.
- Categorizing people solely based on how they vote.
- Believing that someone isn’t Christian (enough) because of whose name is marked on a ballot.
- Dehumanizing others because I don’t understand their fears or struggles.
- Questioning patriotism because some question leadership.
- Spreading conspiracy theories that are usually just that – a conspiracy with little truth.
- Joining in on ridiculing others by sharing memes that do nothing but promote bitterness.
I will fail at times but I’m giving it my all so that the only thing I promote is hope, love, and authenticity. I’m rarely met by Jesus when I go low. And, others are not met by Him when they see me go there.
I’m choosing to stand above the fray.